Wednesday’s MiLB pitcher and hitter of the day are on opposite ends of the prospect spectrum. One is a part of the game’s elite, up-and-coming talents while the other has the look of a career minor leaguer lacking any standout skill that could carry him to the majors.
Pitcher of the Day: ARZ – Archie Bradley, Visalia Rawhide (A+): 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 10 SO
The Diamondbacks 2011 1st round pick, Bradley is obviously a well known name in prospect circles ranked as a top-25 player by both MLB.com and Baseball America prior to each of the last two seasons. Bradley performed well as a 19-year old in the Midwest League holding the opposition to 5.8 hits per nine innings while striking out 158 in 136.0 innings overall. His control was the singular blemish in his first full season as he allowed 84 walks, hit 15 batters and uncorked 17 wild pitches. Bradley has hit two batters already this season but outside of that he’s been very impressive while dealing with the rigors of the California League for the first time. He has yet to allow a run in 11.2 innings and has walked only 3 batters while striking out 19. He was tabbed as a future number one starter prior to being drafted and he’s done nothing to alter that perception. The stuff is electric and he’s shown significant improvement with his control and command in a very short span of time. Arizona has no shortage of upper echelon pitching and can bring Bradley along slowly but he may push his way to Mobile much sooner than intended.
Hitter of the Day: MIN – Reynaldo Rodriguez, New Britain Rock Cats (AA): 3-5, 2 R, 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI
The 27-year old’s first hits of the season led the Rock Cats in their 17 run, 17 hit dismantling of the Harrisburg pitching staff. However, Rodriguez will need to do a lot more to merit a look in the majors. Boston gave him his first taste of Triple-A action last season but he was unable to make the most of his 12 game stint in Pawtucket managing just 8 hits in 49 plate appearances with a 0.186/.265/.256 stat line. Even though he is a career 0.289/.361/.509 hitter the stats are a bit misleading as the vast majority of his success has come while playing in the Dominican Summer League (2007) and the Independent Golden Baseball League (2009).
Honorable Mentions from the Mound:
BOS – Drake Britton, Portland Sea Dogs (AA): 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO – A nice bounce-back start after a disastrous season debut.
HOU – Jarred Cosart, Oklahoma City RedHawks (AAA): 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 SO
LAD – Zach Lee, Chattanooga Lookouts (AA): 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO
MIL – Jimmy Nelson, Huntsville Stars (AA): 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO
SF – Clayton Blackburn, San Jose Giants (A+): 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO
STL – John Gast, Memphis Redbirds (AAA): 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO
STL – Kyle Hald, Palm Beach Cardinals (A+): 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO
WAS – Blake Schwartz, Hagerstown Suns (A): 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO - Rosemount, MN native and 2012 17th round pick is off to a good start after compiling a 3.64 ERA, 1.38 WHIP and 53-12 SO-to-BB in 54.1 IP last season.
Honorable Mentions from the Plate:
ARZ – Nick Evans, Mobile BayBears (AA): 4-5, 2 R, 2 2B, 3 RBI
BOS – David Renfroe, Salem Red Sox (A+): 4-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI
CLE – Bryson Myles, Carolina Mudcats (A+): 3-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, 5 RBI, SB
DET – Jeff Holm, West Michigan Whitecaps (A): 4-5, 2 R, 2B, SB – Managed just six extra-base hits in 46 games last season, but already has three (2 2B, 1 HR) in 2013.
HOU – Nolan Fontana, Lancaster Jethawks (A+): 3-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, SO – After a rough debut season, the team’s 2012 2nd round selection is off to a blistering 0.476/.586/1.000 start with as many total bases as at bats (21).
LAD – Ryan Mount, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (A+): 3-5, R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI
NYM – Kevin Plawecki, Savannah Sand Gnats (A): 3-5, R, 3 2B, RBI – The 22-year old catcher has hit in 6 of the 7 games he’s played this season and has an impressive 0.444/.500/.704 stat line as a result.
PHI – Maikel Franco, Clearwater Threshers (A+): 2-7, R, 2B, HR, 4 RBI
SEA – Carlos Peguero, Tacoma Rainiers (AAA): 3-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, BB
TB – Jason Bourgeois, Durham Bulls (AAA): 3-3, R, 3 2B, 4 RBI, 2 BB
TB – Leslie Anderson, Durham Bulls (AAA): 3-4, 3 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI, BB